Posted tagged ‘back exercises’

4 Best Exercises for Improved Posture

May 3, 2019

Let’s face it. Good posture isn’t exactly a high priority for many Americans. Like most things related to our health and wellness, we don’t notice it until it’s gone.

Most of us live in a sitting culture—we sit at work, we sit at school, and we sit at home. The hard truth is that most of us sit too much and sit incorrectly. Beyond this, our love affair with mobile devices is amplifying the post problem by encouraging us to bend over, hunch our shoulders and crane our necks to look at small screens. Given our lifestyle choices, poor posture may seem almost inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For anyone with a bit of mobility, motivation and time, there are exercises you can do to improve poor posture. Here are four of the best types of exercises to help you improve your posture.

1. Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
A strong core is essential for good posture. Your core includes your abdominals, lower back, obliques, and hips. Strong core muscles don’t just give you an attractive “six-pack” to show off at the beach. In fact, they help hold your body up straight, improve your balance, and provide you with greater muscle control and efficiency. They’re also critical to maintaining back health and provide some measure of protection against injury. When your core muscles aren’t strong, other muscles have to compensate, which results in reduced mobility as well as weakness and even pain. So, to help avoid or reduce low back pain, try regular core training. Some core training exercises include basic crunches (but not full sit-ups), side planks, crunches with a twist, standing side bends, and plank holds. Doing Pilates is another great way to work out your core muscles, as are back extensions and slow swimming.

2. Exercises to Correct Your Rounded Shoulders
Because so many people spend their day hunched over while driving, sitting at a desk while working, using a laptop, or even watching television, rounded shoulders are extremely common—but they are in fact a postural abnormality. When you spend a lot of time in these forward-reaching positions, the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and hips become shortened and tight, and at the same time, your upper and middle back muscles lose strength. In order to help avoid and ease rounded shoulders, you can do exercises that strengthen the weak upper back muscles and stretch the tight muscles in the chest, shoulders, lats, and hips. As the upper back becomes stronger and the chest becomes more flexible, the shoulders naturally pull back, which improves your posture significantly. You can strengthen the upper back with exercises such as reverse dumbbell flys as well as rows with a resistance band, while you can stretch your tight muscles by doing standing chest stretches, torso stretches, and standing quad stretches.

relax your back

3. Exercises to Neutralize Your Tilted Hips
Hips should be neutral and level when viewed from the side—however, some people have postural abnormalities stemming from their hips’ tendency to slant forward. This is called the anterior pelvic tilt, and it negatively affects posture. Lordosis (also known as “swayback”) is a common indication of this tilt. Seen very often in people who sit for hours every day with their legs bent, this abnormality is caused by weakness in the hamstrings, glutes, and abs as well as tightness in the hip flexors and thighs. Exercises to correct this tilt include the core exercises mentioned above as well as bridges, leg curls with a ball, and single leg hamstring flexions with a ball. Exercises that stretch tight hip and quad muscles include standing quad stretches and kneeling quad and hip stretches.

4. Exercises to Retract a Forward Head
Unfortunately, you can easily develop poor posture by tilting your head forward for hours every day. This happens when you drive, when you use a laptop or tablet, or when you watch television. When you fail to retract your head while performing everyday tasks, this tightens the front and side neck muscles and weakens the deep and rear muscles of the neck. The muscles at the front of your neck have to be strong enough to hold your head directly above—not forward of—the shoulders. Not only does this abnormality contribute to poor posture, but it also causes chronic neck pain. In order to retract a forward head, elongate the back of your neck by gently pulling your chin straight in. The highest point of your body should be the top back of your head. This works against the penchant to slip into a forward head posture. You can also work on this issue while driving: practice pulling your chin in and pushing your head into the headrest behind you for a few seconds at a time, then releasing. If you have a high-backed chair that you sit in at work, you can do this at your desk as well.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Carlisle – Atlanta Chiropractor at (404) 264-9553 (Buckhead) or (678) 771-3060 (Jonesboro) for your appointment.

http://www.drcarlisledc.com

http://chiropractors.healthprofs.com/cam/536552

http://www.youtube.com/user/NCarlisleDC

Exercise to Prevent and Treat Back Pain: The Latest Research

March 24, 2014

When someone decides to visit the doctor about musculoskeletal pain, back pain is the most common complaint. Sometimes back pain is the result of very specific trauma—a car accident or a slip-and-fall. Other times, however, its causes are much less obvious—cumulative years of poor posture, inactivity or bad nutrition, for example. The rest of this article looks at the role exercise can play in preventing and treating back pain.
It should come as no surprise that weak muscles are more easily injured than strong ones. That’s why exercise (along with a good diet of healthy food) is the most important thing you can do to help ensure a healthy and pain-free back. Following are some of the best exercises to help prevent and treat back pain. Of course, check with your chiropractor before beginning any kind of exercise program.

Stretch: Knee-to-Chest

Start by lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull one knee to your chest. After holding for about 20 seconds, return to the start position. Repeat this with the other leg. Next, repeat with both legs. These 3 pulls give us one complete set. Do one or two more sets to complete the session. Perform a session in the morning and at night.

Stretch: Rotate Lower Back

Start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms stretched out to each side. While ensuring both shoulders remain flat on the floor, tilt your knees to one side, hold 5-10 seconds and return. Repeat on the other side. Do two or three more sets to complete the session. Perform a session in the morning and at night.

Stretch: Like a Cat

Start on your hands and knees, with your back straight. Slowly breathe in, arching your back like a cat, then as you breathe out, slowly allow your back to fall into a sway. After returning to start, repeat. Perform 3-5 repetitions two times a day.

Flex: Lower Back

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Arch your back upward and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Push your back toward the floor as if your bellybutton were being sucked into the earth and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Perform 5 repetitions once a day to start with. Gradually build up to 30 repetitions.

Lift: Hip Launch

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Throughout the exercise be sure to keep your head and shoulders on the floor and relaxed. As you tighten the gluteal muscles and abdominals, raise your hips so that your body, from shoulders to knees, forms a straight line. Take 3 slow, deep breaths. After returning to start, repeat. Perform 5 repetitions once a day, to begin with. Gradually build up to 30 repetitions.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing back pain, please call or visit our office! We’re experts at diagnosing musculoskeletal problems and developing treatment plans (including chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy and structured exercise programs) that help patients get out of pain and return to their active lifestyles.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Carlisle – Atlanta Chiropractor at (404) 316-1190 (Buckhead) or (404) 781-2800 (Southwest Atlanta) for your appointment.

http://www.drcarlisledc.com

http://chiropractors.healthprofs.com/cam/536552

http://www.youtube.com/user/NCarlisleDC

Top 5 Back Strengthening Exercises

January 17, 2014

Of all the musculoskeletal complaints for which people will go to a doctor, back pain is the most prevalent. The more sedentary we are (think about our desk jobs and all the hours we spend in front of a TV or computer screen), the weaker all of the structures that support our frame—muscles, tendons and ligaments—become. This in turn makes back injuries more likely. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. By strengthening your core, which includes not only your back, but your abdomen, buttocks and hips, you are more likely to prevent injury. By practicing a few of these back strengthening exercises on a regular basis, you can help keep your back pain-free.

1) Bird Dog – While on your hands and knees with your hands directly beneath your shoulders, stretch out your right arm and your left leg so they are parallel with the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Keep your head aligned with your back by looking at the floor or just slightly ahead.

2) Bridge – Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet close to your buttocks (your knees should be approximately above your ankles). Keep your arms on the floor close to your sides and, tightening your buttocks, slowly lift your hips off the floor until a straight line is formed between your knees and your neck. Hold for 30 seconds, return your hips slowly to the floor, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat twice.

behind gym man

3) Forward Plank – Lie on your stomach and raise up on your elbows with your forearms flat on the floor in front of you with your fingers interlaced (forming a sort of triangle between your hands and shoulders), and your elbows directly below your shoulders. Then tighten your abdominal muscles and raise up on your toes, bringing your hips off the floor, forming a straight line between your head and heels. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat twice.

4) Side Plank – Lie on your side with one foot resting on top of the other. With your elbow under your shoulder and your forearm in front of you, raise your hips off the floor until a straight line is formed between your head and feet. Be sure to keep your hips from falling to the front or back. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat twice.

5) Superman – Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you and lift your head, arms and legs off the floor until only your ribcage and hips are touching the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat twice.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Carlisle – Atlanta Chiropractor at (404) 316-1190 (Buckhead) or (404) 781-2800 (Southwest Atlanta) for your appointment.

http://www.drcarlisledc.com

http://chiropractors.healthprofs.com/cam/536552

http://www.youtube.com/user/NCarlisleDC


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